Dehydration in Men
Dehydration refers to a condition where the body lacks water because water exiting the body far exceeds the water entering the body. We tend to lose water in many ways due to activities like breathing, urinating, sweating etc. And this balance of water loss needs to be maintained by consuming lots of fluids.
In most cases, this situation can easily be reversed by increasing the intake of fluids, but in some extreme cases, immediate medical attention is required. Men comparatively suffer more from dehydration because they are more inclined to physical activity. The rate at which men tend to lose bodily fluids is far higher to that compared to women. Dehydration can either be mild, moderate or severe, depending on the loss of body fluids which happen. And, severe dehydration can also cause death in worst of cases.
There are several reasons due to which dehydration can happen. The most common of them are:
- Increased rate of urination ( which might happen due to uncontrolled diabetes or some medical condition)
- Too much of sweating due to physical exercise
- Vomiting or diarrhoea
- Limited access to safe drinking water
- Presence of mouth sores or having a sore throat
Elderly men with diseases like diabetes are at a higher risk of suffering from dehydration.
Several symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration tend to be as follows:
- Not urinating much
- Dry, cool skin
- Muscle cramps
- Dry or sticky mouth
- Darker yellow urine
Signs for severe dehydration tend to be as follows:
- Not urinating at all
- Amber coloured or extremely dark yellow urine
- Irritability or confusion
- Rapid heartbeat
- Sunken eyes
- Shock (reduced blood flow through the body)
- Rapid Breathing
- Dry, shrivelled skin
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Unconsciousness or delirium
The physician performs both physical and mental examinations for the diagnosis of dehydration. And through these diagnoses, conclusions can be drawn out.
Blood tests are often employed in mento test the kidney functions in case of dehydration along with checking for the potassium, sodium and other electrolyte levels. Even urinalysis is helpful in providing useful information during the course of the diagnosis, where the urine tends to be darker and more concentrated while containing a certain amount of ketone compound
For treating dehydration:
- Drink adequate water.
- If possible, drink sports drinks that contain electrolytes.
- Do not consume salt tablets. They tend to result in some serious complications
- Consuming Intravenous fluids
- Avoiding drinking items containing high amounts of caffeine like tea, coffee, and soda
- Consuming certain medications (such as anti-diarrhoea medicines, anti-emetics and anti-fever medicines)
There are few things that one should be kept in mind to avoid getting dehydrated. These are:
- Drink lots and lots of fluids everyday, especially so on sunny and hot days or when you are exercising.
- In case of vomiting or diarrhoea, do not wait for the signs of dehydration. Consume more amounts of fluids to balance the outflow of the liquid.
- Having a healthy diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables
These are some of the ways in which dehydration can be avoided. In case of dehydration, elderly men need to be given a special attention to. They are more at a risk and hence they should often be given more water and other fluids if required on a timely basis.